Tag Archives: History

Iceland: Getting Christmas Right


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An Elementary Tour for Us All

~ Geek and Sundry recently posted an article detailing the more notable locals any Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fan or Sherlock Holmes buff would love to see. The tour is not only chalk full of neat facts, but it’s one of character too. Each site is colorful, entertaining and charming. Take the virtual trip of a lifetime here:


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If Disney Princesses Were Historically Accurate

An enchanting video, which really makes you view some of your fairytale princesses differently. Puts into perspective what certaub characters would actually look in their respective timelines. Very well done.

Dark Matters

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A Portable Past




(Via freakofliterature:)

The World’s First Mobile Library; A ‘Jacobean Kindle’

The year was 1617. William Hakewill MP commissioned it to give as a gift to a friend. And it just might be the first mobile library.

The Jacobean miniature travelling library consisted of 50 gold-tooled vellum-bound miniature books contained in a wooden case that resembled a large folio.

Inside there were three shelves for the books. The inside cover was an illuminated table of contents. The subject matter covered history, poetry, theology and philosophy and included works by Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, Seneca, Horace and Julius Caesar.

It was the perfect gift for a reader on the go and must of been a hit for within the next five years Hakewill had 3 others made.

The rare miniature travelling library is part of the Brotherton Collection of rare manuscripts, photographs and books housed at Leeds University and thanks to a £1.3m Heritage Lottery grant will go on display in late 2015 in a newly built gallery.

The three other known copies live at the British Library, the Huntington Library and the Toledo Museum of Art Ohio.

Story and more images at Daily Mail Online.

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The European Great Gatsby

The European Great Gatsby

(via theatlantic:)

The European Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby may have been inspired by it, and Sal Paradise, the narrator of On the Road, carried a copy of it on his travels. But few Americans have heard of “the greatest novel of adolescence in European literature.” That’s what the British novelist John Fowles called Alain-Fournier’s Le Grand Meaulnes, a revered French classic published in the fall of 1913. This centenary edition of the short book is timed to the anniversary of the author’s death barely a year later: Henri-Alban Fournier (his real name) was killed during the early months of World War I, just before he turned 28.

A story of restless youthful questing, The Lost Domain (the translator wisely gave up on a literal rendition of the title) casts a fairy-tale spell—without feeling merely old-fashioned. The haunting account of two teenage companions, one a bold wanderer at 17 and the other a little younger and a lot warier, is steeped in Alain-Fournier’s long-gone rural past. Yet the protracted adolescent limbo it evokes is familiar.

Read more: [Image: Oxford University Press]


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Classic Books Annotated by Famous Authors

Classic Books Annotated by Famous Authors

~ Excerpt:

Readers come in two editions: those who write in their books, and those who don’t. No matter which you are on your own time, there’s great pleasure to be found in paging through marked-up copies of other people’s books — particularly when the original owners were famous writers themselves. Whether scribbled or printed, snide or appreciative, an author’s annotations give equal insight into the book and the reader, and double as yet another reason to buy physical books. After the jump, check out the marginalia in the books of a few great authors, and add any stellar examples you find missing in the comments.

* Read the rest of Emily Temple’s Flavorwire article here:


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I have given Squeers one cut on the neck and two on the head, at which he appeared much surprised and began to cry, which, being a cowardly thing, is just what I should have expected from him—wouldn’t you?

I have carefully done what you told me in your letter about the lamb and the two “sheeps” for the little boys. They have also had some good ale and porter, and some wine. I am sorry you didn’t say what wine you would like them to have. I gave them some sherry, which they liked very much, except one boy, who was a little sick and choked a good deal. He was rather greedy, and that’s the truth, and I believe it went the wrong way, which I say served him right, and I hope you will say so too.

Nicholas had his roast lamb, as you said he was to, but he could not eat it all, and says if you do not mind his doing so he should like to have the rest hashed to-morrow with some greens, which he is very fond of, and so am I. He said he did not like to have his porter hot, for he thought it spoilt the flavour, so I let him have it cold. You should have seen him drink it. I thought he never would have left off. I also gave him three pounds of money, all in sixpences, to make it seem more, and he said directly that he should give more than half to his mamma and sister, and divide the rest with poor Smike. And I say he is a good fellow for saying so; and if anybody says he isn’t I am ready to fight him whenever they like—there!

Fanny Squeers shall be attended to, depend upon it. Your drawing of her is very like, except that I don’t think the hair is quite curly enough. The nose is particularly like hers, and so are the legs. She is a nasty disagreeable thing, and I know it will make her very cross when she sees it; and what I say is that I hope it may. You will say the same I know—at least I think you will.

I meant to have written you a long letter, but I cannot write very fast when I like the person I am writing to, because that makes me think about them, and I like you, and so I tell you. Besides, it is just eight o’clock at night, and I always go to bed at eight o’clock, except when it is my birthday, and then I sit up to supper. So I will not say anything more besides this—and that is my love to you and Neptune; and if you will drink my health every Christmas Day I will drink yours—come.

I am, Respected Sir, Your affectionate Friend. P.S.—I don’t write my name very plain, but you know what it is you know, so never mind.


Dec. 12th, 1838

Charles Dickens’ reply to a little boy who wrote to him about how he would like Nicholas Nickleby to end.

The Letters of Charles Dickens

(via all-the-dickens)


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The Dreadnought Hoax

The Dreadnought Hoax

(via the explore-blog:)

February 7, 1910: The Dreadnought Hoax – young Virginia Woolf pranks the Royal Navy in drag and a turban in one of history’s most daring hoaxes.

Learn more about it here:


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Dearest Cassandra,

Dearest Cassandra,

(via proustitute:)

Jane Austen, letter to her sister Cassandra, 8-9 February 1807, from Southampton.

“… displaying Austen’s epistolary practice of writing in the margins, writing between the lines, and even writing over written text (‘crossed letters,’ or ‘cross-hatching’).”

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Rare Sappho Poem Discovered

Rare Sappho Poem Discovered

~ Mail Online journalist Victoria Woollaston gives us the skinny about this once in a lifetime literary discovery. The image is the Sappho poem, written on a 1,700 year old torn papyrus.

Link to the article:


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